It’s no secret that the world of television is rapidly evolving. Gone is the age of ‘prime time,’ when audiences reserved television viewing for just a few hours each day. In its place, the digital age has ushered in a new concept entirely: prime time is now any time. As traditional cable subscriptions continue to decline, Connected TV (CTV) presents a modern-day vehicle for media consumption, offeringunparalleled reach and targeting capabilities and in turn, a fresh opportunity for brands to reach consumers through advertising.
Connected TV, or Over-the-Top (OTT), refers to Internet-connected TV streaming content on the largest screens in the household. Advertising on this platform provides an experience that closely resembles watching a traditional TV commercial, as video ads are delivered alongside premium, professionally produced content on an Internet-connected TV.
Why should brands care? Consumers shift quickly ahead of media spend, often making it difficult for advertisers to keep up. This is why it is imperative to deliver advertisements where the brand’s key audience segments are looking. The appeal of Connected TV is that it reaches an audience no longer accessible through traditional TV avenues. Connected TV allows advertisers to target, measure and retarget households based on customer intent data, thereby giving TV commercials even greater impact and leading to conversions that ultimately translate into the company’s bottom line.
In this way, two households in the same neighborhood, watching the same show, on the same streaming platform could theoretically be targeted with two entirely separate, different advertisements that are tailored specifically to what members of each household would find personally relevant. With multiple targeting options and unmatched precision, Connected TV is a surefire way to home in on only the desired households, ultimately improving the consumer experience and hitting the highest value customers at the lowest possible cost.
Having picked up significant momentum in recent years, the Connected TV adoption rate shows no signs of slowing down. Since 2010, 5 million people have abandoned their cable subscriptions and 10.8 million more customers will cut the cord over the next five years.  By 2020, the Connected TV-household universe will grow to 98 million, or 78% of US households, while over 6 million linear TV households will cut their paid subscriptions.  The adoption of cheaper alternatives — like the “skinny bundle” option — is accelerating this trend.
It’s no wonder that audiences prefer it: Viewing original digital video over linear prime time allows consumers the convenience and flexibility to watch on their own schedules instead of “by appointment.” Not to mention, this phenomenon is only just beginning — in three years, people will spend about 25 minutes (-15%) less time watching linear TV and spend 13 minutes (+68%) more time watching content through a Connected TV. 
As consumers increasingly shift toward this new platform, the benefits of Connected TV far outweigh those of traditional TV. Namely, CTV allows for marketers to track consumer conversions and control the type of messaging each household sees based on its previous actions — an option not available with linear TV. Offering powerful targeting capabilities, CTV has left a wide-open opportunity for advertisers to reach key audience demographics with a compelling message on the largest screen in the household. Brands that embrace the CTV revolution will thrive, while those that fail to take advantage of this trend will miss out on connecting with a massive customer base on an emerging platform poised for unprecedented growth in years to come.
 SNL Kagan research group, July 2017
 eMarketer, April/May
 comScore Xmedia and Media Metrix Multi-Platform, U.S., Q4 2015, Live TV
Brian Kroll is Vice President of Sales for Adtaxi, where he also runs the Strategic Accounts team. A member of the IAB’s Performance Marketing Committee, Kroll is passionate about digital marketing, having developed Adtaxi’s Magellan “Performance Based RTB & Social” campaign optimization algorithm. He graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder and currently lives with his wife and son in the San Francisco Bay Area.